Should I update my manual toothbrush to an electric?
When used appropriately, a manual toothbrush is as effective as a powered toothbrush. The key is to brush for the recommended two to three minutes, using short strokes at a 45-degree angle to the gums, and covering the entire tooth surface – inner, outer, and chewing.
How can I protect my teeth from damage?
The enamel on our teeth is hard, but as we all know, it can be chipped and cracked. In addition to following the instructions of your hygienist, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth:
- Avoid chewing ice, cracking nut shells, or opening packages with your teeth.
- Avoid “hard foods” such as popcorn.
- Limit acidic soft drinks and sugary foods that stick to your teeth. Even some bottled waters are acidic. We prefer Nestle over Dasani.
- Decide against tongue and lip piercings, which can fracture teeth and increase infection risk.
I’m pregnant. Is it safe for me to go to the dentist?
Congratulations! Yes, you should continue to see your dentist, as pregnancy can increase certain dental issues. Be sure to inform your dentist that you are pregnant and if you’re experiencing any changes in your oral health.
When should my child receive his/her first dental check-up?
Ideally, you should seek a dentist for your child when the first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
My morning doesn’t start until I’ve had my first cup of tea. How bad is this for my teeth?
Tea and coffee are safe to drink in moderation. However, over time, large amounts can cause staining and damage. In addition to caffeine, tea and coffee contain chromogens, deeply pigmented molecules that adhere to dental enamel. They also contain tannins, which boost a chromogen molecule’s ability to attach to dental enamel. Black tea is worse than black coffee, because coffee is lower in tannins.
Are dental X-rays safe?
Yes. New digital X-ray machines limit the low-dose radiation to a beam that targets only the areas needing to be filmed, faster film speeds allow for shorter exposure times, and the use of film holders prevents slipping, reducing the need for repeated exposure due to retakes. Stray radiation is almost non-existent with the use of modern dental X-ray machines, but the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protect against even that possibility. Every two years, federal law requires X-ray machines to be checked for safety and accuracy, and some states have even more stringent regulations.
Bonded White Fillings
I’ve heard that my silver-colored fillings contain mercury. Should I have them replaced?
Dental amalgam (silver) fillings contain silver, tin, copper, and liquid mercury, which are combined to form an inert (non-active) alloy. According to the FDA, CDC, the American Dental Association (ADA), and a number of other public health agencies, there is no link between this type of filling and any known health issue. Because of speculation and controversy, amalgam is the most researched and tested dental filling material on the market.
What can be done if I grind my teeth at night?
Do you wake up with pain in your jaws or a persistent headache? If so, you may be grinding (also known as bruxing) while you sleep. Persistent bruxing can damage teeth and shorten them, over time. It can also damage your temporomandibular (jaw) joints and even affect your hearing. If you suspect that you are a bruxer, call us today. Dr. Simpson may recommend a night guard or other oral appliance.
This is just a sampling of often-asked questions. Have one of your own? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (318) 855-1600 so we can assist you.